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♪ 'twas grace that taught my heart to feel and grace my fear relieved ♪ ♪ how gracious deed that grace appeared the hour i faced ♪ blizzard warnings. a main winter storm threatens to cripple travel from colorado for the great lakes.
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>> just in time for holiday travel. silent no more. for the first cincinnati newtown, we're hearing from chlt nra. >> and look out below. a landslide takes out a freight train. a camera captures the whole thing. look at that. good morning. welcome to "early start." >> it's nice to have you with us. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. up first, systemic failures at the state department. that is a scathing conclusion of an independent review board investigating the deadly september 11th attack at the u.s. consulate in benghazi. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans were killed that day. the panel finding security in benghazi was grossly inadequate to cope with the attack, that washington ignored repeated requests to beef up personnel, and ultimately a lack of transparency, responsiveness and leadership senior levels both
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this washington and in libya. alise, what do you make of this report. a lot of these findings we've been talking about for a very long time. >> that's right, but also in the last few months, there's been so much politicization of this attack, especially with these talking points and the whole issue of susan rice, ambassador susan rice and what she said about whether there was a protest. this report didn't find that there was a protest, but it also kind of really is the first look at what went wrong, a kind of very sobering look i'd say of what went wrong. and they said that basically the state department and the embassy in libya kind of missed the warning signs that there was an imminent attack coming. there wasn't a specific threat, but a lot of attacks on other western targets that should have been a clue that there was deteriorating security situation and that resulted in relying on
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untested militias, local libyan militias for personnel at the embassy, and also a lack of seasoned security personnel. let me read you a little bit from the report. it says systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the state department resulted in a special missecurity posture that was inadequate for benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place. basically what it's saying is in these kind of high threat environments, you really need to have a real time look at what's going on on the ground and then make larger decisions accordingly. >> and has there been any response from the state department? >> well, one of the parts of the report were 29 recommendations that the state department should look at, particularly in operating in these high threat environments. in a letter to the senate foreign relations committee and
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house foreign affairs committee presenting the report, secretary clinton said she takes all of those 29 recommendations very seriously and she's already working to try and correct these problems. she set up an implementation team of senior officials, they'll be working to make sure that this never happens again. and then today there will be a closed door briefing with some of the committees with the top members of the panel. and tomorrow secretary clinton's two deputies will be testifying before those senate committees as you know, secretary clinton suffered a concussion due to the stomach virus that she was suffering and now they'll have to be sitting in for her. >> all right. thank you. we'll turn now to the tragedy in newtown. the mass shootings have really created a local new chapter in the gun control debate. momentum seems to be growing coast to coast to do something. president obama is poised to take action. the white house says he will support dianne feinstein's
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effort to reinstate federal assault weapons ban. we're hearing from the nra this morning for the first time since the elementary school massacre. dan lothian joins us live in washington. >> gun control and gun violence really have not been on the r radar here in washington after past mass shootings. there's always a lot of talk, but there's no real development. a lot of legislation simply has not gotten to the floor. this time is different. president obama coming out right away talking about taking action, but there was a lot of pressure on the white house to give details. well, now the white house getting more specific. >> he is actively supportive of, for example, senator feinstein's stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reenstate the assault weapons ban. he supports and would support legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun
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show loophole. and there are other elements of gun law legislation, gun legislation, that he could support. >> those other legislation that he could support perhaps looking at banning what carney said was high capaci ammunition clips, also take a look at mental health and how it factors in. the president for his part did reach out to senator joe manchin who is a long time nra member, a west virginia democrat who of late has been talking about tougher gun laws. but throughout the entire debate what we have not here any comment from is the the national rifle association. that changed with a statement they put out from their membership saying that they were saddened and shocked and that, quote, out of respect for the families and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourn, prayer and a
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full investigation of the facts before commenting. chlt nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again and the nra announced that it is planning to have a major news conference here on washington friday. >> that's right, friday the nra will talk in public for the first time. should be very interesting hear wlag they have to say. dan lothian, thanks very much. it is 6 past the hour. the grief and good-byes continue today in newtown. four more funerals will be found for teacher vicky soto and three of the slain children, daniel barden, caroline previdi. with the community still in mourning, students in newtown went back to school. everyone but the sandy hook kids who will return after the winter break to school in a neighboring town. sandra endo has that part of the story. >> reporter: the first day back to school in newtown.
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children returning to classes tuesday and the painful reminder of those who could not. on the bus ride to school, grief was a constant reminder. >> i noticed it was quiet because people were thinking about the tragedy that happened. >> reporter: at schools teachers and students spent time to reflect. >> they just talked about how things will get better than they are now. i felt safe because when your teachers talk to and comfort you about everything that happened. >> reporter: for students at sandy hook elementary, the next time they'll return to will be in the new year. newtown superintendent says teachers and students need more time to deal with the trauma and get used to the new space in a neighboring town. state and local officials had no estimate on attendance for newtown's first day back at school. but returning to a routine was key for everyone. >> you don't want this to affect you forever. you want to be brave and get back into things as normal as
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possible. we realize that we have to go on. but it's very, have i hard. it's hard to think about what happened. >> reporter: police grievance counselors and comfort dogs were on hand at schools to help students adjust. perhaps the new normal now in newto newtown. the difference is students are noticing in their schools one crisis counselor who is working with the district says the only lesson plan before the holidays should be to make sure the students feel safe and cared for. >> sandra endo live for us in newtown. and i just have to say yesterday i met with a group of teenaged girls and they are actually assistants at a dance school where three of the little girls that were killed attended. and so they wanted to share their stories. one of the things they mentioned is as they went back to school, they said we had no school. we were not productive. except that the teachers told us how much they loved us. and one of of the teaches spent an hour telling us how much he
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love us. that was so therapeutic for them. >> and one sent back a note saying it was the best day of school they had all year. >> isn't that incredible? hopefully it will bring a lot of people together and start with that healing that needs to happen. while newtown and the nation mourns, washington pickers. just 13 days to go now until we reach the fiscal cliff and while there are some signs that president obama and house speaker john boehner might be inching closer to a deal, the speaker is also attempting to make an end run around the white house. he's trying to have the house pass his plan for a tax hike on families earning $1 million and up. this legislation would not stop the across the board spending cuts to the military and domestic programs. the white house immediately rejected this saying it simply cannot pass. meanwhile the president's latest proposal would raise taxes on family incomes of $400,000 a year and higher. that's up from his previous stand of $250,000.
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and the president is proposing cutting $930 billion in spending. get ready for this. you won't like it one bit. a massive winter storm stretching from colorado all the way to the upper great lakes expected to cause dangerous blizzard or near blizzard conditions today. also it is cold and stormy in the northwest. alexandra steele, break it down. >> yeah, we have the breadth and depth of the storm is really incredible. tens of millions impacted from today through until thursday. and then it all moves east. so just want to give you the big picture. you can see what we'll watch in the track of this storm, beginning today, we'll watch in the colorado rockies, moving to the plains, and then make its way into the upper midwest and then move into northern new england believe it or not. so it starts here. so i'll time line it out for you you. snow hasn't started in denver yet. but it will. we'll watch it start about 8:00 or 9:00 this morning. and then we'll watch it move through about 5:00 tonight.
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beginning with about maybe 1 to 3 inches. but then it really gets a lot of energy with it and we'll watch it push eastward. so beginning at around 6:00 this morning, there goes the though. 1 to 3 inches for you in denver. and that's just a pittance what have we'll see with this thing. and then as we head into tonight, you can see it moves in to kansas and iowa, places like wichita, north and east of that, in toward des moines. we could also see in omaha, 6 to 12 inches. and then by tomorrow morning, you can see it begins to move into the upper midwest, milwaukee and madison, kansas city still on the back side. and now not only is this really a veracious snow maker, chicago finally gets into the snow 1 to 3 inches, but an incredible amount of wind with this. that's why blizzard watches and warnings are posted. also today, we do have maine getting into some snow, but that first system makes its way into northern new england from thursday into friday with another 6 inches. more on that coming up.
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>> all right. a veracious snow maker moving through the plains and midwest. thank you so much. >> everybody who wanted snow, right? there you have it. >> yeah, be careful what you you wish for. take a look at this incredible video of a mud slide. this is near everett, washington. knocking seven passing railroad cars right off of their tracks. looks like toy cars i, right? it knocked out amtrak service in the entire area. it was caused by a rain soaked 100-foot cliff that engineers were planning to check right after the 66 car train passed through. this was just the latest of several recent mudslides on this section of the track. >> they were planning on checking it right after the train got liethrough? at least they were in the right place. >> look at the mess they have to contend with.
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it is 13 after the hour. and of course just days after the newtown tragedy, a run on guns in at least one state. the new record setting coming up. >> plus the push to arm teachers in texas. how one gun shop owner is tray to go make it easy. it's amazing how appreciative people are when you tell them they could save a lot of money on their car insurance by switching to geico...they may even make you their best man. may i have the rings please? ah, helzberg diamonds. nice choice, mate. ...and now in the presence of these guests we join this loving couple. oh dear... geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed
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time for your early reads. beginning with a story in the denver post this morning, colorado reporting a state record for the most gun background checks the day after the mass shooting at sandy hook elementary. colorado's bureau of investigations had a total of 4154 back ground checks were submitted on saturday. that's topping the previous record which happened on black friday of this year actually. one gun shop owner says for him
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the rush began friday afternoon after news of the shooting broke. >> when there's an event like this, people think gun laws might tighten, so they rush to pick up whatever they can. a lot of news about guns. from the san antonio express, a gun shop offering free conceal handgun classes to educators after the massacre and the owner of the shop says the class is already sold out. 400 teachers signed up in 24 hours. many physicianses including governor perry have been pushing for more guns in schools, not fewer. >> and this of course highly controversial. >> to say the least. for an expanded look at all of our top story, head to cnn.com/earlystart. also follow us on twitter and facebook. just search for early start cnn. it is 18 past the hour. so let's get you you up-to-date with all of our top stories. >> good morning. a blistering report says systemic failures at the state department are to blame for the september 11th terrorist attack
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of the u.s. consulate in benghazi, finding security was, quote, grossly inadequate to cope with theed a tack, that washington ignored repeated requests to beef up personnel there and that there was a lab of transparency, responsiveness and leadership senior levels in washington and in libya. their community style reeling, students in newtown, connecticut returned to classes for the first time since last week's shooting at sandy hook. two of the first graders killed, jessica rekos and james mattioli, they were buried yesterday. four more funerals are scheduled today. the national rifle association breaking its silence on the newtown school massacre. the gun rights lobby issuing a statement saying, quote, out of respect for the families and as a matter of common decency, we've given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens
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again. about half of 292 fraternity members wanted in connection with a hazing death have turned themselves this this morning. members at northern illinois university are facing hazing charges after police say a 19-year-old pledge drank himself to death last month. his blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit. thousands of fans expected to gather today to celebrate the life of jenni rivera. a memorial will be held this morning at gibson amphitheater you can a limited number of tickets were made available to the public yesterday. they sold out this about an hour. rivera and six other people died in a plane crash in mexico earlier this month. investigators will be at the scene this morning trying to determine what caused a 1,000 gallon propane tank to ignite and explode at a shopping center in virginia. this blast damaged half a dozen businesses and injured a firefighter. >> that's a big tank. 1,000 gallons? >> sure is. they're going back to square one
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to figure out why it blew up. >> luckily there weren't more injuries. main street might be seeing a run on guns in some places, but on wall street, it's quite the opposite. we'll have a look coming up. so s my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left.
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there she is, new york new york. the city that never sleeps. especially us. >> it is 5:23. we're minding your business this morning. u.s. stock futures pointing to a higher open for the markets. yesterday was a really strong day for stocks. >> and christine romans is here talking about that and also the gun maker companies down sharply. >> they were down big time. let me talk first about the overall market because it was a good day for your investments yesterday as long as you weren't invested in gun companies. naz tasdaq up 44.
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dow on track for one of the best years ever despite climbing a wall of worry about the fiscal cliff. so the feeling is they'll get that resolved. let me talk about the gun makers, though. let me show you a couple that are publicly traded companies hammered for three days in a row now. take a look, you've got smith & wesson shares down 19%, rugee do you know 15%. they have been up sharply over the past year. the fastest growing part of the gun market is high capacitythey the past year. the fastest growing part of the gun market is high capacityyou . they have been up sharply over the past year. the fastest growing part of the gun market is high capacity magazines and the military style rifles like the one used in the attack there in connecticut. that's a good part of their business. you look at the profit margins, very, very high profit margins. you look at the company that makes that bushmaster semiautomatic, it made something like more than $200 million in
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profit last year on almost $700 million in sales. so this has been a very profitable part of the business. but now there's a very bad pr problem here. you've got some of the big retailers like dick s taking these things off the shelves. you have a new feeling in the country about how we're selling them, how easy it is to get them. walmart told me they're not changing their policies. they've taken down advertisements for these guns on their website, but they are still selling them. planning to continue with their same suite of guns offered to the public. so there is a new conversation here, that's why the stocks are down because investors are saying we think that maybe the most profitable days of these companies could go south. >> a barometer of where things may be headed. >> and now big public investors are trying to see if pensions are invested in some of these companies and reviewing that. new york, california is reviewing it. we'll see if they make anydy investments of these investments. >> thank you so much.
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26 after the hour. airport body scanners under the microscope in washington. coming up, the tsa is trying to find out if those x-ray machines are a health risk. if you think running a restaurant is hard, try running four. fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
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the failures of benghazi, a scathing new report on the attack that killed the u.s. ambassador and three other americans. danerrous weather. a major winter storm prompts blizzard warnings across the nation's midsection. gun rights activists upping the ante. one group sponsoring a raffle
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for an assault rifle. be careful what you ask for, because there is serious weather headed our way. welcome back. we're happy you're with us. >> and it is 30 after the hour. and we are bracing for that winter blast that may cause her to sing a whole lot more. a huge storm stretching from colorado to the upper great lake expected to call blizzard-like conditions. northwestern u.s. also getting a share of cold stormy weather. alexandra steele joining us with the details. >> the winds are part of the problem. not only will snow be coming down, 6 to 12 inch hes, but coupled with gusty winds to 50 miles per hour. so breadth and depth of a veracious storm. all the way from colorado around denver through the upper midwest, in the next 48 hours, and look at this, red denotes where the blizzard warnings are. blizzard warnings will see snow, a minimum of winds, 35 miles an
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hour. visibility less than a quarter of a mile. so blizzard warnings for sure. posted in the next 48 hours. and again here is that swathe. so it's a pretty tight band. but it is snow and it is incredibly strong winds. so what we're going to see in denver by the time it all wraps up, the snow hasn't started in denver, but it will, 1 to 3 inches in denver. omaha, 6 to 12 inches. des moines, blizzard warnings for you. 6 to 12 inches. chicago, by tomorrow night, fwetss 2 to 4 inches. so that's kind of the track of this thing. and farther north than that, milwaukee and madison get into it, as well. so here is the time line this morning in denver, then it moves towards kansas. you can see how small and tightly packed the winds are and how narrow the snow is. and by thursday morning, it's rain in chicago, but then we see a change over. look at how tightly wound the storm is. chicago by tomorrow night gets into the snow. and sees about 2 to 4 inches. but there is also a severe side to this. on the south side, it's rain and
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storm, so we'll see it in the south really for tomorrow. >> all right, thanks for the update. 32 past the hour. the state department getting slammed by a review board investigating the did deadly terrorist attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. the independent panel's report concluding systemic failures at the state department led to the attack that killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. the panel also finding security in benghazi was grossly inadequate and that repeated requests to beef up personnel at the consulate were ignored by leaders in washington and that ultimately there was a lack of traps par transparency, responsiveness and leadership senior levels. alise, what is your takeaway from this report? >> i think that basically what this report is saying is that there were repeated not only requests for security, but warning signs, there were a lot of attacks on western targets in
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benghazi in the months leading up to the september 11th attack. there was even an ied attack on the consulate itself. and what it's saying is that these senior leaders of the state department kind of failed to see those warning signs and act accordingly. they were relying on local militias to protect the consulate and also kind of not seasoned security personnel, sending a lot of temporary personnel to the site to protect the embassy, which obviously didn't prove to be enough. let me read you a little bit from the report. it says systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the state department resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place. and i think there's going to be a long hard look at operating in these what they call expedition posts where it's very high threat environment, but the state department wants to stand
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up some kind of presence. there's a risk, but they need to balance that risk with the need to kind of set up shop there. >> so squarely putting the blame on the state department. have we heard from secretary of state clinton or anyone else at the white house about these specific findings? >> in presenting the report to some of the senate committees that deal with the state department, secretary clinton sent a letter that said she accepts -- there were 29 recommendations. secretary clinton said she accepts all of them, she's already set up a team of senior leadership at the state department to try and implement some of them. and they're going to take a long hard look at how they have to-to-operate to operate in these posts. all the recommendations will be in place before the next secretary of state. >> that's good news at least. thank you very much. 35 after the hour. let's go back to connecticut. newtown continues to bury its dead from the shooting that
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claimed 26 lives at the sandy hook elementary school. four more funerals held today, including one for teacher victoria soto who helped shield her students during the rampage and is being remembered as a hire row. jessica rekos, james mattioli, were laid to rest yesterday. >> can i just say something about both of these kids. jessica rekos we talked a lot about yesterday. her parents called her the ceo of the family. she was in charge. she always made the plans. i talked a little bit to the young girls who spent time with her, some teenagers who taught her dance. and they said she was just a sparkle in dance. and that she always whether he had the way and she wanted to make sure everything was in order. and little james mattioli, he was quick to remind everyone that he was six and three quarters year old. he loved to wear shorts and t-shirts in any weather and to grab the gel to spike his hair. so i know a lot of will we qut from the family members the way they wanted these children remembered. so i just want to always keep
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that front and center. 36 past the hour. the parents of another shooting victim, 7-year-old grace mcdonnell, are telling cnn about their daughter who they say was the ultimate girly girl. they spoke to anderson cooper last night. >> she was just the light and love of our family. she was just truly a special, special little girl. she loved her school sandy hook. in fact in this week i was telling somebody she had a stomach and i can one day and i said to her why don't you stay home with mom, and she said, no way, i have too much fun there and i don't want to miss anything. >> lynn mcdonnell say they are comforted by the fact that grace was in a place that she loved when she died. this little girl was all about peace. if you have an opportunity to find the interview, i strongly recommend it. it really is very, very powerful. >> it's so important for us to see these stories and faces. it gives us a chance to share what all those families are going through. >> and to end on a more positive note, how these children lived
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as opposed to how they died. school this is newtown reopened yesterday with the exception of course of the sandy hook elementary school. still a crime scene there. the sandy hook kids will return to class in january after the winter break. they will be in a different building in a neighboring town and of course there will be 20 bright faces that will be missing. the connecticut massacre caused a scare at a school in utah. officials in keerns say a sixth grader brought a handgun because he was worried about the events in connecticut. it turns out that the gun was not loaded. 37 after the hour. are airport scanners a health risk? gosh, i hope not. the transportation security administration will try to answer that question and will conduct a study to determine if the the effects of radiation from imaging machines on travelers in airport personnel, we'll try to see if they're doing bad things. >> i thought they did this
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before they put them in. >> some people have expressed concern about the repeated exposure to radiation. the white house getting toward launch a new gun control push. we'll go live for washington coming up. plus giving away a gun. more on the strange move by one gun rights group coming up. hey, look! a shooting star! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress.
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we're seeing a shift in the polls on gun control. many gun right supporters seem to be doubling down like a tea party chapter in the mountains of north carolina which is raffling off a rifle. the asheville tea party boasted an announcement about the raffle monday, which the group is calling a great gun giveaway. $20 tickets for the chance to win an ar-15 rifle. same calliber gun, just a
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different brand. spokesman says the raffle was planned before the shooting but is also urging teachers to carry guns to prevent mass shootings. in the wake of the newtown tragedy, the white house has signaled it is ready to act on gun control and the nra has spoken the first time since the massacre. >> shortly after the shootings, the president talked about action, making sure that this didn't happen again. and so there has been pressure on the white house to deliver specifics. thousand we're getting some of those specifics. white house spokesman jay carney weighing in saying that the president would, quote, actively be supportive of senator feinstein's effort to reinstate that ban on some assault weapon. in addition, he would like to ban high capacity ammunition clips, wants to take a closer look at how to address those mental health concerns. so there is a very passionate debate going on here about getting tougher gun you laws. but on the other side, those gun
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owners who want to make sure that their rights are protected. >> in the very places that have been sought out by monsters such as the murder of these adults and children, we're saying, no, we don't want you to be able to defend yourself. it's better that you just sit there and wait to be killed. and we find that morally i in-comprehein-xr in-comprehe incomprehensible and deeply disturbing that the desire to defend life, evil is in our heart, not in the guns. >> the national rifle association has been largely silent throughout all of this debate. back and forth. not anymore. putting out a statement saying that its membership was shocked and heartbroken and that out of respect for the family, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the
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facts before commenting. the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. and by the way the nra is planning what they describe as a major news conference here in washington on friday. >> interesting to see what those meaningful contributions are that they offer on friday. dan lothian, thanks very much. 4 # pamore than a decade af the 9/11 attacks, an extensive study just out on the cancer risks of ground zero. a look at some of the findings coming up. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios because for every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪
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welcome back. a new ground zero health study concludes that rescue and recovery workers in the aftermath of 9/11 have a higher risk of prostate and thyroid cancers as well as myeloma and blood cancer. but there is no increased risk for residents and others near the ground zero site. the study looked at nearly 56,000 people from 2003 to 2008. 47 past the hour. this morning the resolution on the fiscal cliff and the future of your taxes is still very much up in the air. republicans reportedly met late last night to see if they could get enough votes to bring a new plan b on to the house floor. it would extend tax cuts for those making under $1 million a year. john boehner introduced it yesterday. >> so i believe it's important that we protect as many american
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taxpayers as we can. and our plan b would protect american taxpayers who make a million dollars or less and have all of their current rates extended. >> of course democrats say the bill has no shot. here harry reid. >> everyone should understand boehner's proposal will not pass the senate. >> so my next guest actually agrees with the democrats for once. and thinks that this bill is a mistake. ron meyer is spokesman of american majority action, a national conservative organization. and i just want to make sure that i let people know that you don't agree with the democrats, it's not like you're switching sides here. you just have a lot of criticism of speaker boehner. you haven't really appreciated the way that he's handled these negotiations. what do you make of this plan b? >> well, i have some news to break on it actually. i talked to some really good sources in the house of representatives and staff members and they think that this
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plan has no shot to pass the house, that it doesn't have the conservative votes. doesn't have the republican votes. there is a growing number of republicans from us straighted with speaker boehner. the problem is not tax revenue. the problem is spending. we've increased spending a trillion dollars in the last five years and we can't have enough revenue to make up for that. we would have to have the biggest tax revenue increase ever as far as the relationship to gdp than we've ever seen and that won't happen. >> who how do we achieve compromise. president obama says he will not pass any bill without increases to the absolute wealthiest. this week he went from $250,000 to $400,000. and here is white house spokesman skjay carney explaini the president's viewpoint. let's listen. >> he has made it clear that republicans need to accept the fact that rates will go up on
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the top 2%. and that we should extend tax cuts for the remaining 98%. thus far, we have not seen an acceptance of that by republican leaders. >> so now you're telling us that there are house republicans saying that they're not going to support boehner here. first of all, i'm going to ask you which house republicans were those. you can na can you you name names? >> soon. i reason why i spoke to the members in the first place is because i wouldn't say their names yet. but the vote will not happen today. i don't think there's anyway boehner will let that happen. he'll lose the vote unless he somehow gets democrats and nancy pelosi to agree to the plan. it looks like a plan nancy pelosi produced just a couple months ago, but of course she won't get her members behind something boehner is trying to push as a political employ. >> wait a minute. what we want to know is how do you achieve compromise. we're stuck in the same place again. >> we're compromising my generation, our generation,
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young people, going right off the cliff. if we don't handle any entitlement programs right now, if we don't reform spending, people high age will spend their prime years paying just the interest payments on the debt. we'll have to spend half of our income just paying the interest payments. that's not sustainable. right now interest payments on the debt are already $3,000 per taxpayer. that means you and me and everybody else on average paying $3,000 to just service the debt. it's not sustainable. >> let's talk about the american public then. people like you and me. most people in the country want to raise taxes on those earning above $250,000. in fact just about three quarters of them want to. why should speaker boehner listen to you instead of listening to the rest of the country? look at the numbers. >> well, look at how they're raising taxes. do you favor getting rid of the charitable deduction, do you favor slashing the budget for charities right now? going after the red cross? going after the people trying to help hurricane sandy right now
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and others? that's what these revenue plans do. most go after deductions. speaker boehner's plan in particular. taxing productive money that will go to investment, job creation and spending on products which actually get people employed is not the way to start this economy. a tax hike on the wealthy has never created jobs. we know it will lose jobs. so why is that what we're talking about? >> so let's focus on that. the president of your organization says this will hurt job creation, that it will not stipulate the economy. but congressional research service released -- or rereleased i should say a report from september that disagrees with you. we'll put that up on the screen so everybody can see it. they're a nonpartisan group. reduction in the top tax rates has little association with saving, investment or productivity growth. it is reasonable to assume that a tax rate change limited to a small group of taxpayers at the top of the income distribution would have a negligible effect on economic growth. so that argument is not a strong
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argument. >> i think the strong argument is that when we actually cut taxes for all americans, which we should be advocating for, when we had a fiscal problem, when we had an economic problem in 1981, revenue from the top bracket doubled. the economy created 20 million jobs by the entsd of his term and youth unemployment fell 43%. that's what we should be advocating. as far as the american public goes, the hill did a poll right before the leak and asked how many americans supported having a 40% tax rate for any americans. do you know how many people supported that? 4% of americans supported raising taxes to 40% for anyone, including the most wealthy. and that's what we're proposing right now. >> all right, i'll invite you back when you're ready to name names. ron meyer, american majority action. thank you for joins us this morning. meanwhile we have a packed hour straight ahead on early start including failure in benghazi. an independent review board blasts washington for ignoring requests for more manpower
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before the attack that killed the u.s. ambassador. how is the white house going to react to this? we'll go live to washington for that. also, they survived the sandy hook shooting, but will the kids' mental wounds ever heal? elizabeth cohen speaks with survivors from the jcc shooting 13 years ago to try to explain what lies ahead for their recovery and you'll love this one, young enough to belief in santa, old enough to be the grinch. wait until you see who was caught stealing presents from people's doorsteps. this really happened. you but first, some instragram users jumping ship in fear that their photos may pop up in ads without their permission. this is like rage online. everyone is mad about this. and i'll just take the stairs. look at that. floating high above lower manhattan on its way to the top of the word trade center. >> stairway to heaven. anyone? again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing!
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it is 58 past the hour. nice to have yyou with us this morning. we're taking a look at the top cnn trends on the web this morning. >> one of the trends is instragr instragram. responding to the backlash over privacy terms that saying that instragram can basically use your photos without permission. facebook bought the site back in april. intake sgram says updated terms of service will be up within 30 days. they promise to explain more what they're trying to do here. but a lot of people yesterday
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were saying they were going to cancel their instragram ask tcc because they want out. >> if they can take any picture that you have, and you can use it without high permission? >> they seem to imply that that will not happen, but we'll see. >> all right. stairway floating in the heavens. take a look at this. this is a photo of an escalator being hoisted up to the 101st floor of the new 1 world trade center. look at this. perspective is a little off. it could make you a little dizzy. that's because it was taken from the top of 1 world trade. the escalator is attached to a crane on top to a crane on top of the behind the camera. the building in the background is actually the smaller 4 world trade center. everything makes me dizzy. that makes me dizzy and nauseous. >> clearly what led zeppelin meant all along. an amazing picture. "early start" continues right now.
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blizzard warning. a major winter storm threatens to cripple travel. u.s. state department slammed. new report details failures leading up to the benghazi attack. silent no more. for the first time since newtown, we are hearing from the nra amid calls for new gun laws. good morning. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. 6:00 a.m. in the east. we'll begin with a blistering report that blames systemic failures at the state department for the consulate attack in benghazi. security at the facility was grossly inadequate. and officials in washington ignored repeated requests to beef up personnel. and in the aftermath of the tragedy, there was a lack of transparency, responsiveness and leadership at the senior levels. we're joined by foreign affairs reporter elise lavin live from washington. what do you take from this?
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>> john, a real sobering look at the aevents that led up to the attack on september 11th. some of the things that went wrong, the management, of the diplomatic security bureau in charge of facility and personnel, security, and the near eastern affairs bureau that oversees all of the mideast policy bureaus, basically was inadequate to handle what happened. they missed the warning signs, john. a lot of attacks in the recent days, leading up to the 9/11 attack on other targets, other western targets, and also that they just kind of didn't understand what they needed at this security post. relying on a lot of militias and poorly trained security personnel. let me read a little to you from the report it says systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus
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of the state department resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place. john, i think there will be a lot of kind of gut checking at the state department about how you operate in these high-threat posts. there -- definitely the state department wants to stand up in some of these areas like benghazi and other places and there is an acceptable risk, but you definitely need a kind of security posture that recognizes the deteriorating situation that's happening. >> so the study, this report, found a lack of reed leadership and management ability, but did not find reasonable cause to find that any individual, u.s. government employee, breached his or her duty. still, what is the state department going to do now. what is the response to this? >> it says no one "breached their dutduties," but it says future reports should look at a
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review process of management personnel to see if people are really doing the job they could. the report came out with 29 recommendations on how to increase security at these high-threat posts, how to deal with fire and safety issues, that ultimately was the thing that caused the death of ambassador stevens and shawn smith. it was smoke inhalation, so they want to review those fire equipment, safety equipment and they also want some officials that can deal with this. secretary of state clinton sent a letter to various committees on the hill when she presented this report. already working on implementing those recommendations, john. >> one of the letters sent to john kerry, head of the foreign relations committee, who we think is about to take her job. ellis lab bott, thank you very much. a massive winter storm expected to cause dangerous or near-blizzard conditions today, and also cold and stormy in the
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northwest. alexandra steele in the weather center in atlanta. breaking it all down, following it for us. what can you tell us, alexandra? >> good morning, zoraida, good morning, everybody. a powerful winter storm will unfold during the next 48 hours it begins in denver, colorado. snow has not started there. it will 8:00 or 9:00 local time and will roll out. kind of like a carpet, it will unleash a band of heavy snow driven by strong winds, so the snow, we'll see 1 to 3 in denver, colorado, winding up tonight, tonight and tomorrow from omaha along this i-80 corridor, 6 to 12 inches and to des moines, blizzard warnings for you. 6 to 12 inches of snow, 50-mile-per-hour winds, chicago, 2 to 4 inches, winding down there tomorrow night. it will all unfold, you can see the path. all the computer models, certainly a consensus on this. the timeline, watch it wind up
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from colorado to kansas and as we head from overnight tonight into tomorrow, you can see north of chicago, milwaukee, madison gets into it, and the i-80 corridor and thursday morning, thursday morning to thursday night, we can see chicago changes over from rain to snow, and you can see how tight the pressure gradient is, that means winds will be incredibly strong, it is small, powerful and we'll see it with the snow and the winds be very impactful this there is the spread of it the next three days. you will see the snow, colorado to the upper midwest and then, guys, another storm hot on its heels to the pacific northwest that will be the christmas snowmaker. >> are you so angry this is going to chicago. are you taking it personally. >> a lot of people leaving the 21st for the holidays, and it will directly impact them. >> by a lot of people, she means her. >> by a lot of people, she means me. >> a lot of us are traveling for the holidays. the heads up and warning we'll spend a lot of time at the
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airport. we appreciate it. >> a lot of the weather. the northwest has seen a lot of weather. the sheer force of a mudslide in everett, washington. knocked out seven passing railroad cars right off the tracks. >> the video shot by a local long shoreman who heard rumbling sounds at the location for hours. the 75-foot mudslide knocked out amtrak in the service, but it has resumed it was caused by an oversaturated cliff that planners were going to check right after the 66-car train passed through. >> timing is everything, right? 13 days left to get a deal done, looks like house speaker john boehner are crawling toward a fiscal cliff compromise. boehner is agreeing to tax hikes
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on those making $1 million up and sweeping cuts to military and domestic programs. the white house rejected it, claiming it could never get to the senate. the president's plan would raise taxes on incomes $400,000 higher, up from the $250,000 he initially proposed and cutting $930 billion in spending. in the next half hour, we'll talk about the fiscal cliff and what it will take to get a deal done with paul brown of georgia. a third day of funerals in newtown today. four more victims laid to rest. hero teacher victoria soto, and three of the children. students in newtown returned to class yesterday. everyone but the sandy hook kids who will return after winter break to a school in a neighboring town. sandra endo, there for the first day back. >> the first day back to school in newtown. children returning to classes
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tuesday. and the painful reminder of those who could not. on the bus ride to school, grief was a constant reminder. >> i noticed it was like quiet. so -- because people were thinking about the tragedy that happened. >> reporter: at schools, teachers and students spent time to reflect. >> they just talked about how things will get better than they are now. i felt safe, because when your teachers talk to you and comfort you about what happened. >> reporter: for students at sandy hook elementary, the next time they return to class will be in the new year. newtown superintendent says teachers and students need more time to deal with the trauma and get used to the new space in a neighboring town. state and local officials had no estimates on attendance for the first day back at school. returning to a routine was key for everyone. >> you don't want this to affect you forever. you want to be brave and get
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back to things normal as possible. we realize we have to go on. but it's very, very hard and hard to think about what happened. >> reporter: police, grievance counselors, and comfort dogs on hand at schools to help students adjust. perhaps the new normal now in newtown. now, the goal is to make sure kids return to a sense of normalcy, but for students returning to class yesterday, it was anything but a regular school day. sfwlor a zoraida, john. >> thank you very much, sandra. coming up, the group raffling off an assault rifle. and new developments just in, live to washington, straight ahead. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h
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welcome back to "early start." 12 minutes past the hour. we're seeing a shift in the polls on gun control after the sandy hook tragedy, many gun rights supporters are actually doubling down. a tea party chapter in the mountains of north carolina raffling off a rifle. an announcement about this raffle was posted on monday, the day of the first funeral in
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newtown. the group is calling it the great gun giveaway. $20 tickets for a chance to win an ar-15 rifle with two 30 round magazines, the same style and caliber gun, just a different brand. in many other places, momentum is growing to do something about guns. the white house announcing steps and a new push for gun control. this as we're hearing from the nra for the first time since the newtown shooting. cnn's dan lothian live in the washington bureau. tell us about the new developments, dan. >> that's right. a new development. the white house later this morning, the president will be making an announcement that vice president biden will be heading up new interagency effort to come up with policies to address the issue of gun violence, the president will be making this announcement in the white house briefing room. joined by vice president biden, white house aides saying the president will be talking more about process rather than any
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specific policies, but nonetheless, zoraida, another effort by the president, by the white house to show action in the wake of the shooting. >> dan, emotions are running high. what is reaction right now from gun rights supporters? >> you hear it on both sides. those pushing for tougher gun laws, but also those gun owner who's say they want to make sure that their rights are protected. take a listen. >> in the very places that have been sought out by monsters such the murder of these adults and children, we're saying, no, we don't want you to be able to defend yourself. it's better that you just sit there and wait to be killed. and we find that morley incomprehensible and deeply disturbing that the desire to defend life has been so cast aside and to whatever political correctness views guns as the ultimate evil. evil is in our hearts, not in
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the guns. >> strong emotions there. the national rifle association, largely silent, releasing a statement saying its membership was heart broken and shocked. out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full vegsgation of the facts before commenting. the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. the nra is planning a major news conference right here in washington on friday. >> maybe to discuss those meaningful contributions and exactly what they are dan lothian, we really appreciate it. i have to add, there is a group, a woman who has this web-based group of connecticut mothers, 5,000 women strong, 40 of them are newtown moms and they say they will not leave this fight alone, they will not rest until assault rifles are banned. >> gives them new momentum that is for sure. let's go to christine romans
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with the headlines. a review board is blasting the state department this morning, blaming systemic failures in washington for the deadly attack at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. security in benghazi, grossly inadequate, a lack of transparency, responsiveness and leadership at the senior levels afterward. feds have decided not to file cyber stalking charges against paula broadwell, she's in the middle of the sex scandal that brought down david petraeus. broadwell sent harassing e-mails to tampa socialite jill kelley, warning her to stay away from petraeus. three workers giving polo vaccinations in pakistan were killed. pakistan is one of three
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countries where pol polio has n been eradicated, the nigeria and afghanistan. and jenni rivera's life will be celebrated. tickets for the event sold out in an hour. river yaer and six other people were killed. an 8-year-old girl is responsible for stealing packages left on doorsteps. neighbors, annoyed they weren't getting their packages, set up a sting to catch a thief and were awfully surprised to find out who it was. a little 8-year-old girl. >> wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. was she sent to do it, or did she do this on her own? >> unclear, but packages have been disappearing. neighbors started talking about it set up a sting. >> i would say safe to say this
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goes in the naughty column. >> silvio berlusconi getting hitched. he is engaged to a 28-year-old woman. this is while his sex for hire trial continues in milan. berlusconi is flirting with another run for prime minister. >> that must have been some engagement ring, right? >> that guy, he has -- >> the guy may want to be prime minister, forgetting all of his other problems, europe, the financial sector, terrified of that. >> silvio berlusconi, the gift that keeps on giving. >> john tries to make this very serious. i appreciate you bringing it back to the financial crisis. >> no, no, no. we were focused on something different. >> the sex for hire trial? the proposal during the sex for hire trial? main street might be seeing a run for guns in some places,
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but wall street, it's the opposite. a look at that, coming up. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. because for every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ [ nyquil bottle ] just reading your label. wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you? [ nyquil bottle ] dude! [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
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good morning, new york. bring a cup of coffee over to the tv, chat for a while. >> two cups of coffee. >> minding your business this morning, u.s. stock futures pointing to a higher opening for the markets. yesterday, a big day for stocks. >> christine romans to talk about the markets and a new warning about the credit rating. >> a warning that the european crisis is a very big problem, and fitch says it has identified the u.s. fiscal cliff as the biggest near term threat to the world economy. baseline assumption is that the
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fiscal cliff will get fixed, we won't go over. if they do, that is something they would have to reexamine america's credit rating. mostly have you markets thinking it will get fixed. look at the dow yesterday. above 13,000. in fact, this is one of the best years for the dow since 1950 up more than 9% for the year so far, on track to be one of the best years ever. sorry if you missed it. a lot of individual hedge fund investors really afraid of the fiscal cliff, companies sitting on the sidelines, not investing in new technologies or jobs, hedge funds and individual investors pulling money out of the market as it goes higher. yesterday, investors running scared from gunmakers. down double digits over the past couple of days. smith & wesson down 11%. and cabela's, by the way, a hunting and sporting goods
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store, down 10% as well. some of the big major retailers are assessing their advertising and sales of some of the semi automatic assault rifles and see if we can look at gun stocks over the past year. they have had a terrific year. they have -- you look at smith & wesson, up 78%. profitab profitable, cerberus, that owns bushmaster, the group of companies that own bushmaster, going to get out of that business, but very profitable. and over the past few years, the highest -- i guess the fastest growing part of this business is the semiautomatic assault rifle and high-capacity magazines for ammuniti ammunition. so those have been a fast-growing part of the business, very profitable. >> do you have a dollar amount on profits? >> smith & wesson, record sales and bushmaster, freedom group which owns that, 2$200 million and a quarter billion in profit
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last year, so it's profitable. i can tell you, gun sales are up. you are seeing anecdotally, gun sales are up. but stocks really got hammered, the feeling on wall street, could there be a shift? is this somehow different? gun violence episode? will it result in tightening of laws that will make those fast-growing parts of the business slow down a bit? >> that's why gun sales are up. people are worried there will be changes in the law. >> and people, quite frankly, are worried -- trying to protect themselves. that's the -- when you are in -- this is such an interesting industry, because you make something. usually companies spend millions trying to make sure their product doesn't hurt someone. this is an industry that make as a product that can be used to kill someone and in this case, a very big -- >> what is the one thing we need to know about our money? >> gas prices are down 27 days straight. today's national average, $3.23 a gallon. big storm coming in, so all of
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you people driving, you will pay less for gas. be careful out there. >> i like to end on a positive note. thank you, christie. 26 minutes after the hour. jail break in the windy city. coming up, what a couple of convicted bank robbers used to bust out of their cells. >> i didn't hear about this. ♪ ay throw care away ♪ ♪ from everywhere, filling the air ♪ [ female announcer ] chex party mix. easy 15-minute homemade recipes you just pop in a microwave. like caramel chocolate drizzles. happier holidays. chex party mix. to the number 1 club in the world. the potential of manchester united unlocked. nyse euronext.
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the failures of benghazi. a scathing new report on the attack that killed a u.s. ambassador and three other americans. bridging the fiscal cliff. a republican congressman joins us live to talk about the proposals from both sides. childhood innocence stolen by unspeakable violence. we'll speak with a few who know what the young people of newtown are going through. welcome back. i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. the state department getting the
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bulk of the blame for the september 11th terrorist attack at the u.s. consulate in benghazi. a blistering report that includes systemic failures that led to the attack that killed chris stevens and three other americans, the panel also finding security in benghazi was grossly inadequate and that repeated requests to beef up personnel at the consulate were ignored by leaders in washington as well and there was a lack of transparency, responsiveness and leadership at the senior levels. this in the aftermath of the tragedy. foreign affairs reporter elise lab b labott live from washington. what did we learn from the report be didn't already know? a lot of this we were talking about as they were investigating. >> that's right. the main thing i took from the report, the state department really missed the warning signs of what was right in front of them, deter yoreating security situation, what was going on in benghazi. five attacks leading up to the 9/11 attack, including one on
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the u.s. consulate itself. an ied attack on other western targets and what they are saying, you need to look hard and long what's going on right in front of you in the high-threat posts and increase security accordingly. >> at the end fortunate dof the objective, this never happens again. the panel is making renls recommendations, what are they? >> the first, strengthen security personnel for high-threat posts. one of the problems, the consulate relied on temporary, inexperienced staff and local militias that weren't up to the task. the panel called for tighter security standards, for facilities and upgrades if necessary. also a review of fire procedures and equipment. if you remember, it was smoke inhalation that killed ambassador stevens and shawn smith when it was set on fire. they need to plan for fire as a
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weapon in these types of instances, in-depth checks of the threat environment. a big criticism, they failed to recognize the deteriorating security situation in the face of other attacks, and i would say lastly, congressional support for resources. shrinking budgets for security was cited here as a major problem. secretary clinton said in her letter to the senate committees when she presented the report that the state department will do its part, but congress has to support them, zoraida. >> elise labott, thank you for sharing more details, we appreciate it. 32 minutes past the hour and 13 days until we go off the fiscal cliff. house speaker john boehner and the president might be able to compromise as hours tick away. the speaker is making a bit of an end runaround the white house, proposing it will raise taxes on those making $1 million a year and do nothing to stop the mammoth spending cuts that
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come with the fiscal cliff. i want to bring in a guest. congressman paul brown, represent frif georgia, republican. good morning, congressman. >> we hit the nail on the head. have to stop the outrageous spending that's going on in washington. >> you opposed speaker boehner's proposal before when he was calling for $800 billion in new revenue, before he proposed raising tax rates. let me ask you this. are you going to vote against his measure in the house to raise tax rates above -- for those making more than $1 million? >> john this is not about tax rates. we've got -- we already passed a bill in the house that would keep tax rates as they are right now today for everybody. we've got to stop the outrageous spending that both parties have been doing in washington, because the real fiscal cliff is the economic failure of our nation, that's what we're headed towards because of the outrageous spending that is going on. it has to stop. >> yes or no, plan on voting
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against the speaker's proposal? >> i haven't seen it in its entirety, but yesterday when i was asked about where we were, i said -- >> do you think he has the votes to get it through the house? >> i really don't know, john. but the president has been missing in action on this. the economy is poor because the president's failed policies. the president is failing political games and his failed policy is causing the situation where our economy is not growing. it's the spending and we just got to stop the spending here. and this bill doesn't deal with the real problem. >> you know, the president's proposal has changed over the last several days, he is offering tax cuts -- tax rate hikes or the ones before. offering new cuts in spending including the cost in cost of living index. some people say it cuts social security. the president has moved here.
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>> well, he's moved very well, in fact, i think the president's playing political games. i think the president actually wants us to go off this so-called fiscal cliff and then come back and look like a hero next year when he offers actual tax rate cuts for those making under whatever, whether it's $400,000. but the real problem, john, is spending. we have got to deal with the problem and the president is unwilling to do so. he wants to spend more money. >> well, he's got -- depending on how you measure it, over $800 billion, $900 billion in cuts. have you been very vocal on the benghazi issue. i want your reaction of the new report. >> i think the report is accurate. the state department is at fault in this. they knew very well that there were security risks there. and they did not give our
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ambassador and those in the consulate the support they needed. and the blood is on the hands of this administration of the four americans there thaw were killed. >> great talking to you. you raised some eyebrows in september on a comment you made in a church on the subject of evolution. i want to listen to this. >> all this stuff i was taught about evolution and big bang theori, it's all lies straight from the pit of hell. it's lies trying to keep me and all those taught that to believe they don't need a savior. >> i want you to help me understand that. that the science teachers i had were telling lies straight from the pit of hell? >> i came here to talk to you about spending, that's what we
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need to focus on. i'm a bible-believing christian, that's what i was saying in that instance. we have got to focus on the problems at hand and that's out of control, outrageous spending and that's what i'm focusing on now. >> thank you for coming in this morning. should have an interesting vote in the days ahead. leaning against it right now. thank you. >> thank you. >> 37 minutes past the hour. newtown continues to bury its dead from the shooting that claimed 26 lives at sandy hook. four more funerals today. including one for teacher victoria soto who helped shield her students during the rampage. she, of course, is a hero. being remembered that way. jessica rekos and james mattioli, two of the slain first graders lane to rest yesterday. i want to tell you about jess a jessica. she is the one we called cowgirl. loved everything about horses, horse movies, drawing horses and
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writing about them. her parents say she didn't miss a trick and outsmarted us every time. we called her our little ceo. i want to talk about james mattioli, quick to remind everyone he was 6 3/4 years old. loved to wear shorts and t-shirts in any weather and grab the gel to spike his hair. he was born four weeks early because he was hungry, that's what they joked about him. he a voracious appetite. his dad's egg omelets with bacon and his mom's french toast were his favorites. two little ones being buried today along with the teacher, soto, who tried to shield the children with her body, and it cost her her life. >> the spiked hair and the smiles. >> oh, yeah. >> meantime, schools in newtown, connecticut, reopened yesterday with the exception, of course, of the sandy hook elementary school, still a crime scene. sandy hill kids will return in january after the break. in a different building in a
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neighboring town and tragically, 20 bright young faces missing. there are reports that the gunman had asperger's syndrome. it's a form of autism and is a developmental disorder not a mental illness. a very high-functioning form of autism. already experts are concerned that asperger's will be linked to violence due to what lanza did. so last night on "anderson cooper 360," anderson asked dr. sanjay gupta if there is any evidence of a link to violence? >> there is not. and i don't want to dance around the edges here at all or beat around the bush. this has come up quite a bit and since we started reporting on this, i talked to several experts about this specific issue. there just isn't. >> connecticut's medical examiner said officials are working to confirm if lanz why's asperger's diagnosis was
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correct. i will add this. they have done a lot of work of children with autism and they do tend to be violent sometimes and angry, but it has nothing to do with that type of violence and anger we think about. it's frustration they cannot communicate. nobody wants this connection made that children with autism are violent, because they are not. >> really important to understand in this case. 40 minutes after the hour. the international space station's three newest crew members expected to blast off in 35 minutes. an american astronaut, a russian cosmonaut and a canadian astro out in will launch from kazakhstan. we'll join the three men already on board. canada will take control of the station next march. beware of the blizzard about to slam parts of our nation's midsection. details coming up so you can plan accordingly.
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soledad o'brien, what's ahead on "starting point."
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a new report on the attack on the consulate in benghazi. what went wrong, what can be done to protect americans overseas and in the future? 4 of the 26 victims in the newtown shoot willing be laid to rest today. we'll hear from a woman who knew one of the children who was killed and talk about gun control around the world with cnn's christiane amanpour. and rick scott will join me with an exclusive announcement to fix all of the problems around voting in the state of florida." time" announces person of the year, the most influential person, and everybody loves raymond. a new movie, called not fadeaway. >> time they fix those voting problems in florida. >> now is a good time to start working on that. bracing for a bitter blast. a huge winter storm, stretching from colorado to the upper great lakes, expected to cause
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blizzard-like conditions today. the u.s. getting cold, stormy, nasty weather. alexandra steele joins us from atlanta with details. >> talking about 17 states, 10s of millions impacted by a winter storm that begins in denver, colorado and rolls out and doles out snow as it goes, moving from denver toward omaha, nebraska, and kansas today. and getting toward iowa, wisconsin, and also illinois. as we head for tomorrow into tomorrow night. so here is how the models see it. you can see denver, colorado, in toward kansas as it moves from wednesday night through the day, overnight to thursday morning and then chicago's first snow of the season, tomorrow night. will wind up with 2 to 4 inches of snow. guys, not just a smoe maker, an incredible wind maker as well. blizzard warnings for places like des moines and many places in the plains. >> alexandra steele, thank you very much. bracing for the storm. >> 46 minutes past the hour.
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this morning's top stories, go over the fiscal cliff in 13 days. house speaker john boehner and president obama more willing to compromise. he agrees to tax hikes on families earning 1 million and up and across the board cuts to military and domestic programs. the president wants tax hikes for those families making $400,000 or more. two convicted bank robbers on the run after authorities say they escaped federal prison, scaling down 20 stories on a makeshift rope made of bed sheets. >> oh, boy. >> jose banks and kenneth connelly weren't there for a head count yesterday morning. the fbi stormed one home and might have just missed them. >> wow. that's incredible that they were able to get away with that. investigators are trying to determine what caused a 1,000 gallon propane tank to ignite and explode at a shopping center in virginia, folks.
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that blast damaged a half a dozen businesses and injured a firefighter as well. it happened in amherst on monday night. images that are striking and scary. check out this video of more than a dozen tiger sharks feeding on a dolphin off a popular beach in perth in western australia. this going down less than 100 feet from shore. look at the people on the beach. my god, run. rub away. some sharks swam so close to shore that witnesses could see it's stripes. >> don't go in the water. >> all right. fortunately, most of us do not know what it's like. i can't even imagine, to face down the barrel of a gun as a young child. in a second, you will hear from someone who does know that awful feeling, we'll tell you about it coming up. it's hard to see opportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious.
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welcome back. 6:50 on the east coast. we have seen the pictures of terrified children as they were led out of sandy hook. we heard stories about children walking past dead bodies and broken glass. can sandy hook's young survivors get past the horrific trauma. elizabeth cohen asked child
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survivors of an earlier mass shooting who are all grown up now. >> i saw some of the bullets going past the hall. >> heard yelling, put your hands up. don't shoot. we heard lots of scary stuff. >> these innocent eyes have witnessed unspeakable horrors. >> everyone crying. >> images that could haunt them forever. >> she walked past the body. saw the principal, saw the blood. >> physically they escaped, but how will the young survivors do mentally? >> very serious situation at the north valley jewish community center. >> ben and josh know what it's like to face the nightmare. 13 years ago, the boys were at summer camp in los angeles when a gunman stormed in and shot them. ben was 5. what do you remember happening around you? >> screaming, tons of screaming. >> josh was 6. >> he came in and shot all the way around, and the next thing i remember, i was just getting up and running as fast as i could
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that way. >> the boys survived, but were never the same emotionally. >> i didn't live a normal childhood. in no means did i have a normal childhood. >> the shooter, buford furrow, had wrobed them of their security. when you were dropped off at school, you wondered am i safe? >> how long? >> probably through middle school. >> if we heard helicopters, sirens, loud noises, anything that would startle me, the house was on lockdown. >> you would go down and lock doors? >> i locked every door, i locked every window. >> why did you look every door and window? >> it was the closest thing i felt to safe. >> now 19 years old, this is closest to what the connecticut children experienced. they worry for the newtown children. >> i think they are going to feel, you know, afraid of the dark, afraid of loud noises.
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>> what advice would you give to the parents in connecticut? >> listen to your kids. you know, they are a lot smarter than we take them for, so you really have to just listen to them and be understanding to them and know that there will be times when they really do want to talk about it, and there will be times they don't and if they don't want to talk about it, don't push them. >> elizabeth, you have to wonder if there is any opportunity for these two young men to actually be part of the healing process in newtown. >> you know what? that's exactly why they did this story with us, zoraida. they wanted to sort of have this conversation via television with the parents and with those children. they want to let them know that things are going to be tough. one of them said it's going to be a long road, but eventually things do get better. they say this shooting still affects them, but they do feel better than they did years ago.
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>> i have to tell you, as we were heading into that package, that little boy, if you heard him, there was a siren behind him, the police siren, and he looked back immediately, terrified out of his mind. i spent some time with teenager there who really need healing as well. thank you for that, we'll continue to share that. maybe there is an opportunity for those boys to visit newtown. that would be amazing. >> that would be amazing. lots of words of wisdom, lots of guidance, very heartfelt for them. >> thank you for that. we appreciate it. >> we'll be right back. is holid. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. hurry in for a droid razr m by motorola for $49.99.
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. an early read on local news making national head lines, first up from "the hartford courant." a geneticist may join the investigation into the newtown shooter. the genetics department will look into possible clues into the gunman's biology. investigators are awaiting toxicology reports on adam lanza. instagram, now responding to instant backlash, over privacy
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terms that states instagram can use your photos, sell them without your permission. instagram now says updated termtz of service out in 30 days. >> caused quite the backlash. an expanded look at top stories, head to cnn.com/earlystart and follow us on twitter and facebook. just search for earlystart.com. >> i'm laughing, because you turn around and -- yes, you do. >> you always turn around and i get your back and you noticed and turned back this way. >> only love. >> i'm giving awe i hard time. or zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman, facing you right now. >> "starting point" starts right now. >> more love, more love. our "starting point," systemic failures, new review on the attack in u.s. consulate in

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Early Start
CNN December 19, 2012 2:00am-4:00am PST

News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin. The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.

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